Talk:Papal primacy

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What a mess[edit]

From looking at this articles history and reading some diffs, I see why the article is so jumbled and not just about a primacy of jurisdiction in an economy of salvation. It looks like should be harmonized with some related articles (maybe primacy of Simon Peter and historical development of the doctrine of papal primacy which was a split from this article).

The Primacy of the Bishop of Rome#Opposition to the doctrine section is just an unreferenced list that does not differentiate how the Churches changed between the Apostolic Age, the pre-ecumenical Ante-Nicene Period, the First Council of Nicaea convened by Constantine I, the First Council of Constantinople canon 3, the Council of Chalcedon canon 28, and all the various ecumenical councils that some groups reject. It seems to ignore how jurisdiction was influenced by a civil understanding after it became the State church of the Roman Empire (which was the Catholic Church until the East–West Schism); or how diocese were organized along the lines of territory of civil Roman diocese; Justinian I's imposition of a five patriarchal see Pentarchy structure; 7th century Muslim conquests of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem; 10th century (post schism) autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate, etc., created/recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The article's history page probably contains a treasure trove of good content to mine. The existing references need to be checked and improved. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:16, 26 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

I believe is WP:SELFPUBLISHed. But does it represent the Anglican Province of America since the post is by one of its bishops? –BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:37, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Euclidpress is self published[edit]

I believe Euclidpress is WP:SELFPUBLISHed. See which is found on Wikipedia:List of companies engaged in the self-publishing business. I marked the content this edit with {{Self-published inline}} and references with {{Self-published source}}.

I marked the other articles where this work, His broken body, is found with {{Self-published source}}: Apostolic succession, Christianity in the 3rd century, Christianity in the 5th century, Clerical celibacy, East–West Schism, Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox teaching regarding the Filioque, Exsurge Domine, Filioque, History of Eastern Orthodox Christian theology, History of the East–West Schism, History of the Filioque controversy, Mass of Paul VI, Original sin, Papal infallibility, Primacy of Simon Peter, Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, Quartodecimanism. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:38, 26 May 2015 (UTC) modified 23:58, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I read through the Google books preview of His broken body. I feel the book has a charitable presentation but interprets some Catholic understanding in, I guess, an unconventional way.

It included a fringe theory, in "The catholic Church as a hologram" section which both shows the cover of Michael Talbot's The Holographic Universe and quotes from an article (or a version of it) by Talbot. That part is, in my opinion, just a variety of pseudo-scientific speculative quantum woo that skeptics mock. Cleenewerck writes: "This brief scientific excursus has only one point: to convince the reader that it is not preposterous to think of the catholic Church as a hologram" (p. 66). Talbot got the science of a hologram wrong (in reality, a physical fragment of a recording medium does not contain all the information of that entire hologram) and unfortunately Cleenewerck developed his analogy idea on that. Regardless of the misunderstood science, I think it is reasonable to believe that only a few people "think of the catholic Church as a hologram".

This this 2012 edit added content from Cleenewerck that included "One could therefore argue that the Great schism started with Victor, continued with Stephen and remained underground until the ninth century" (p. 156). The post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy that the East–West Schism (commonly dated to 1054) "started with" Pope Victor I (c. 190s), i.e. about 860 years earlier, is also a fringe theory.

I think the Quartodecimanism content citing Cleenewerck should be removed from this and other articles. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:03, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Augustine's Tractate 124[edit]

Augustine's Tractate 124 (about John 21:19-25) is not quoted in Guettée. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

I believe is WP:SELFPUBLISHed and I can't find even a name or information about who writes it. The blog is the source of a translated quote used in the article. I replaced the {{Citation needed}} with a reference to the blog, {{Self-published source}}, and {{tertiary}}. I think the quote needs a reliable translation since the Russian is from the Interfax news agency. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 21:39, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Here is some English language news reports from the Russian Orthodox Church about the subject:
A better set of choices may be:
BoBoMisiu (talk) 00:40, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Petitions as a source[edit]

I changed a citation that pointed to a reprint of a petition on to point to the source petition circulated on While I don't doubt that the petition, which contains many citations, represents's and the other signatories "reservations concerning this beatification", I don't think it is about the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome but about "reducing beatification and even canonization to the level of a token of popular esteem bestowed upon a beloved figure in the Church".

The site is a microsite of "Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research" ( / That organization also operates,,,, Donations for that site are made to "Housetop Care Ltd" in Rickmansworth, England ( I think the content is just agenda driven advocacy whose source is abstracted through several layers of virtual organizations. Blogs describe this petition "issue same tedious demands they have been issuing since 1968" and commenters, outside of what looks to me like a walled garden of blogs, say, for example, that "the named theologians are those that could be described as the usual suspects" and in contrast that "notable feature ... is the stature and impressive credentials of the signatories". Is Catholic Scholars' Declaration on Authority in the Church any different WP:ABOUTSELF than other online petitions of advocacy groups? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:30, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Metropolitans prior to 325[edit]

From reading De Lucia, Pierluigi (2010). The Petrine ministry at the time of the first four ecumenical councils: relations between the Bishop of Rome and the Eastern Bishops as revealed in the canons, process, and reception of the councils (STL). Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 

Among such councils the synod of Rome had a unique place, meeting under the guidance of the bishop of Rome, who was the single metropolitan of Italia suburbicaria (central and southern Italy, Sicily, Sardinia). That synod dealt not only with questions of the bishops of this territory, but intentionally discussed and made decisions that were regarded as binding for other churches outside its own metropolitan sphere.(De Lucia p. 6)

The office of metropolitan was not created at the First Council of Nicaea. De Lucia discusses canon 6 promulgated by that council on pages 21 26. He also discusses L'Huillier there. That council was "a foundation to arrangements of ecclesiastical administration and jurisdiction" (De Lucia p. 22). And it is "the canon to which Ratzinger refers when he states: 'The word primates appears for the first time related with the function of the Roman See at the Council of Nicaea in canon 6' " (De Lucia p. 24). "In regard to the authority of the canons," De Lucia explains, "there are differences in scholarly opinion about their intended authority and their effectiveness" (De Lucia p. 25). —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:33, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Leaked Crete draft of working document[edit]

This 2011 edit added content about a 2008 unofficial draft text on "The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium" topic prepared by the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church was leaked in 2010. Have the quotes and other content, cited from the leaked unofficial draft, been updated in later sessions? Is the content outmoded? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:30, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Apostolicus at 1049 Council of Reims[edit]

Nuvola apps edu languages.png Relevant discussion at Talk:Council of Reims#Apostolicus

This 2010 edit added content about the Latin quote "quod solus Romanae sedis pontifex universalis ecclesiae primas esset et Apostolicus". A discussion about translating this Latin quote is found above at #Please translate from Latin. See discussion at Talk:Council of Reims for interpretation in English language sources. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:52, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

The keys sources[edit]

This 2011 content based looks like it is based on primary religious source:

Orthodox accept that Peter had a certain primacy in the Bible. He is first to be given the keys Matthew 16:18. However it is implied that the other Apostles also received the keys. Matthew 18:18

This interpretation is accepted by many Church Fathers

was edited into on 2011-08-28

Orthodox Christians accept that Peter had a certain primacy'. In the New Testament, he is first to be given the keys Matthew 16:18. However other texts may be interpreted to imply that the other Apostles also received the keys Matthew 18:18. Such an interpretation, it is claimed, has been accepted by many Church Fathers.

The shift was from "it is implied" into "other texts may be interpreted to imply" and did not add any secondary source. A book source was added on 2011-10-08 and a URL was added on 2011-10-08.

Problems with this citation are that the URL does not mention the book and the URL looks like WP:SELFPUB. The book publishers site shows the book has a chapter titled "The Papacy and the 'Rock' of Matthew 16", but that title is not identical to "The Church Fathers' interpretation of the Rock of Matthew 16:18" which is the web page title. There is no Google Book preview to verify the book content. The web page has a good range of long quotes with reasonable citations but also does not correctly describe the authors of its cited sources, for example, Ignaz von Döllinger "taught Church history as a Roman Catholic for 47 years in the 19th century and was one of the greatest and most influential historians in the Church of his day. He sums up the Eastern and Western understanding of Matthew 16 in the patristic period"; but no mention that he was excommunicated by the Catholic Church for heresy. I improved both citations in the existing <ref> until someone is able to see what the book includes. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:13, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Sculpting the term catholic[edit]

This edit changed "the original meaning of catholic" into "the original meaning of the word catholic- καθολικισμός, katholikismos, 'according to the whole' ". καθολικισμός is not translated into catholic. καθολικός is probably a better term – but the ancient Greek term doesn't add anything because the modern usage of term catholic, regardless of which language is used, has more than one definition sense (e.g. see Arguments in the article about the term catholic are sculpting meaning instead of describing how the term catholic is historically used by various groups. I think some etymological fallacy might be in the article. Examples, in my opinion, of this kind of sculpting are: "Contrary to popular opinion, the word catholic does not mean 'universal'; it means 'whole, complete, lacking nothing' " and "the original meaning of the word catholic- καθολικισμός, katholikismos, 'according to the whole' ". The article maybe should have a short section about the relevant historical and modern senses of the term catholic to explain the terms usage by different groups and link to History of the term "Catholic" and Roman Catholic (term). —BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:52, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Restoring definition section[edit]

According to Talk:Primacy of the Bishop of Rome/Archive 2#Definition??, the article gave "no definition of its subject matter" in 2010. I added a new "Primacy of the Bishop of Rome#Dogma within Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches" section to define what the "subject matter" within the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches is. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:56, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Sentence about Tertullian Poitiers Chrysostom Augustine is synthesis[edit]

Primacy of the Bishop of Rome § Opposition to the doctrine (this revision):

However, in Matthew 16:18 the keys were given not only to Peter but to all the Apostles equally. Such an interpretation, it is claimed,[107] has been accepted by many Church Fathers; Tertullian,[h] Hilary of Poitiers,[i] John Chrysostom,[j] Augustine.[111][k][113][114][l]

the quotes were added in 2011 as part of, what looks to me like, a small WP:QUOTEFARM – without attributing who synthesized that "this interpretation is accepted by many Church Fathers" about these quotes. The Webster citation was added later in 2011.

This synthesis seem to be contradicted in several public domain sources that I skimmed. For example this entire chapter which concludes with a list that synthesized each of these four as "concurrent testimony of [...] prelates and doctors from the East and the West from every quarter of Christendom at the time all establishing the historical fact of the primacy of Peter and his successors and the Catholic belief therein existing in those early ages."

I think Webster is mis-cited. Based on the above attributable links, I think the sentence and quotes should be removed. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 20:27, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

I have not had the time to be thorough and review Webster fully, but a deep scan reveals that he quotes not only the early fathers, but a series of modern-day scholars, some of whom arrive at their own syntheses about the early fathers' position on primacy. Webster's own conclusion seems to match those syntheses, not diverging into some private theory. The synthesis does not match the RC doctrine, and says in what ways it differs. I think the problem is that this source is currently misrepresented in the article, another inexact and somewhat off-target rewording by some editor. I think some proper sentence belongs here, as do the sources, but some sort of editing is required. Evensteven (talk) 05:03, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Evensteven: the page number ("pp43ff") cited from Webster was deleted. Adding the citation to the phrase "it is claimed" turns it into a connector that doesn't cite the content on either side of that cited phrase: "it is claimed". The Church fathers wrote generally one way on the subject of primacy. But sometimes they changed over time about what they thought – a scholars synthesis will change depending on the selection of Church fathers and their quotes included in a synthesis.
Nevertheless, I should have made it clear that the synthesis is also using quotes added in 2011 about Matthew 18:18 and not Matthew 16:18 – the quotes of the Church fathers are not about primacy but about keys of Heaven. It is not the same concept. Keeping the sentence is misleading. The Webster citation, as you said, "is currently misrepresented in the article". —BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:03, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree that keeping the current sentence is misleading; it needs correction. But I think 'keys of Heaven' and 'primacy' are both related to the Orthodox opposition to the RC doctrine, which is what the section is about. There is also a lot of consideration of 'on this rock', which is where 'keys of Heaven' enter in. Is it not true that the doctrine (or its RC defense) argues that both of those indicate a primacy of the bishop of Rome over other bishops, a primacy that focusses governance of the Church into one person through the apostolic succession from Peter, to whom the keys were given? That's the base issue that the sentence (or any text supported by the source) needs to cover in a manner appropriate to what the source says. And that's why I think removal is not the proper response. Evensteven (talk) 16:47, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Ware cherry picked[edit]

Primacy of the Bishop of Rome § Orthodox_view (this revision):

The Orthodox church considers the Bishop of Rome to be the primus inter pares.

It cites Metropolitan Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, it includes incomplete evidence (fallacy) about what Ware wrote in his book. For example, he wrote:

The Orthodox Church does not accept the doctrine of Papal authority set forth in the decrees of the Vatican Council of 1870, and taught today in the Roman Catholic Church; but at the same time Orthodoxy does not deny to the Holy and Apostolic See of Rome a primacy of honor, together with the right (under certain conditions) to hear appeals from all parts of Christendom.

Ware also wrote a nuanced explanation about the papal universal role as the appeal court petitioned by bishops about judicial decisions of episcopal tribunals:

[...] Byzantines for their part were willing to allow appeals to Rome, but only under the specific conditions laid down in Canon III of the Council of Sardica (343). This Canon states that a bishop, if under sentence of condemnation, can appeal to Rome, and the Pope, if he sees cause, can order a retrial; this retrial, however, is not to be conducted by the Pope himself at Rome, but by the bishops of the provinces adjacent to that of the condemned bishop. Nicholas, so the Byzantines felt, in reversing the decisions of his legates and demanding a retrial at Rome itself, was going far beyond the terms of this Canon. They regarded his behavior as an unwarrantable and uncanonical interference in the affairs of another Patriarchate.

Looking through the concordance of Ware's Orthodox Church for primacy and for supremacy, shows, for example, that:

Thus far Rome and Orthodoxy agree — but where Rome thinks in terms of the supremacy and the universal jurisdiction of the Pope, Orthodoxy thinks in terms of the college of bishops and of the Ecumenical Council; where Rome stresses Papal infallibility, Orthodox stress the infallibility of the Church as a whole. Doubtless neither side is entirely fair to the other, but to Orthodox it often seems that Rome envisages the Church too much in terms of earthly power and organization, while to Roman Catholics it often seems that the more spiritual and mystical doctrine of the Church held by Orthodoxy is vague, incoherent, and incomplete. Orthodox would answer that they do not neglect the earthly organization of the Church, but have many strict and minute rules, as anyone who reads the Canons can quickly discover.

I would like to find an online English language copy of this to add citations to the actual canonical works. Ware wrote

Hitherto Orthodox theologians, in the heat of controversy, have too often been content simply to attack the Roman doctrine of the Papacy (as they understand it), without attempting to go deeper and to state in positive language what the true nature of Papal primacy is from the Orthodox viewpoint. If Orthodox were to think and speak more in constructive and less in negative and polemical terms, then the divergence between the two sides might no longer appear so absolute.

But this at least shows that the polemics in this article should be replaced with factual content. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:24, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

The last quote here is clearly an opinion that Ware aired, not an Orthodox position, and it's one that's been received in a variety of ways, some of them distinctly negative, some mild, some gentle, but it is rarely embraced fully. I think he sees value in real discussion, and would like for it to happen, implying it has not been entirely successful to date (at the time of writing). Not many people are really in a position to say if that last is so, certainly not me. I'm just not sure what value one bishop's opinion about this is going to be in the article. I favor real discussion also, all over the place, including between the leadership of the churches. But that doesn't really advance anyone's understanding about primacy itself. It's the discussions that might do something. Once held, we'd have something to include and report on. But if you're looking to use the canons as source, it will be tricky to handle. The rules may be written out, but it's the bishops who interpret them, as that is part of their duties in administration of the church, and canon law is notoriously Byzantine. We'll need secondary sources to make sense of them, and if they're not bishops, then it's a question how reliable their findings might be. Evensteven (talk) 04:35, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Evensteven: of course "canon law is notoriously Byzantine" and yet it is used today. The canons are more authoritative; the theologians are less authoritative. Bishops are each a teaching authority in Orthodoxy and his opinion matters. Ware is also a teaching authority and writes "to go deeper and to state in positive language what the true nature of Papal primacy is from the Orthodox viewpoint". This article and the Eastern Orthodox opposition to papal supremacy do not answer the basic question "in positive language what the true nature of Papal primacy is from the Orthodox viewpoint".
I assume for a start, there are commentaries added to the OrthodoxWiki:The Rudder; I assume there are also other English language commentaries. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:55, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@BoBoMisiu: indeed those are good points. But the canons also require interpretation. For example, there are many canons set down by the First Council of Nicaea governing matters of church discipline, but not all are applied directly in practice today. Yet I believe that they are held to be part of Holy Tradition, and immutable. The teaching interpretation I have heard is that they are accepted as the governance of the time, not directly to be the governance of the present also; for while things pertaining to God do not change (which is most of what Holy Tradition is about), yet the Church lives on earth also and is subject to the countless changes, shifts, and reapplications to times and cultures and individual cases, a task for bishops. And finding a reliable interpretation for quoting in WP will be difficult, for the bishops tend not to draw up policies based on canon law, but simply rule upon individual cases, and even a ruling that is "current" may be based in part on the culture or condition of an individual, and who can weigh how a bishop came to a decision, and how it applies generally? The means for "authoritative" general interpretations are not available.
Also, I agree that this article and the other do not answer the basic question "in positive language what the true nature of Papal primacy is from the Orthodox viewpoint". And I agree that Ware's opinion matters, since he is a teaching authority, but I was trying to say that as a teaching authority he is telling us that no such deep Orthodox viewpoint has yet been formulated, and that current formulations have shortcomings. The article can relay that opinion, perhaps, but it cannot address a need to answer the question better. We can explore "what there is". I am only saying that "what there is" will probably prove to be more useful to the article than Ware's opinion itself. Evensteven (talk) 17:20, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Evensteven: yes, "canons also require interpretation" that is why I mentioned commentaries about the canons. I agree with your example:
  • "many canons set down by the First Council of Nicaea governing matters of church discipline"
  • "held to be part of Holy Tradition, and immutable"
  • "are accepted as the governance of the time"
  • "not all are applied directly in practice today"
It might be a good start of a contemporary Orthodox doctrine section about primacy or maybe a more general article like canon law with a link, maybe clarifying when and why the canons stopped being applied. Maybe there are sources for that related to economy or dispensation.
  • "finding a reliable interpretation for quoting in WP will be difficult, for the bishops tend not to draw up policies based on canon law, but simply rule upon individual cases"
I think you are describing two different related concepts, like you said "the Church [...] is subject to [...] changes, [...] a task for bishops":
  1. what the canons are – legislated (later amended or revoked through other canons)
  2. how those canons are applied – interpreted and executed
Particular cases do not matter, what the canons are should be included in the article, and possibly how those canons are applied. I added that kind of content into Primacy of the Bishop of Rome § Dogma within Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches.
  • "means for 'authoritative' general interpretations are not available"
Why? For example, The Rudder (1957) is available online (Archived index at the Wayback Machine., a very large and slow download that is searchable) and I see it includes commentary. A Google search shows there are also newer commentaries and histories on Orthodox canon law published.
  • Ware "is telling us that no such deep Orthodox viewpoint has yet been formulated, and that current formulations have shortcomings"
I interpreted Ware the same way. Nevertheless, there are Orthodox "current formulations"
  • The article "cannot address a need to answer the question better"
Why not? Ware's book is a late 20th century reliable source that does address that facet of this subject. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:14, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
@BoBoMisiu: re point 1, "canons require interpretation": If we can find an RS that says when and why they stopped being applied, then we surely can include that. And it's quite possible that that would be viewed as economy or dispensation. Yet, given that the canons are immutable, they are still "on the books", and in principle there would be nothing to prevent the bishops from beginning to apply them again if they considered the circumstance to be proper. The canons do represent a standard, even if it is a standard from a different age, and even if not applied directly now, that standard can be used to weigh what might be proper now. So there is also the matter of influence of the canons upon the present day. Perhaps a commentary would shed some light on that also.
Evensteven 17:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC) — continues after insertion below
I agree about commentaries. (I used the {{interrupted}} to start splitting the developing themes, feel free to rearrange my comments) —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:50, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Re point 2, "individual cases": You're correct in distinguishing the two things, and yes the individual cases do not matter to the article, which I think was my essential point too. I wouldn't object on principle to including the canons in the article, but if so, I think it will require supporting material so that the reader does not draw the wrong conclusions about application. That will begin to develop into a small treatise on canon law, so care will need to be taken also that this related topic does not unbalance the article.
Evensteven 17:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC) — continues after insertion below
What kind of "supporting material so that the reader does not draw the wrong conclusions about application"? Readers will draw their own conclusions about the choice of economy over canons. I think honesty is better than propaganda. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:50, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Propaganda? I don't think it's propaganda to help the reader understand how the canons are applied in practice. What's dishonest about that? And if they can understand that, perhaps they will also realize that they're just not in a position to draw conclusions about "economy over canons". That's simply not how it works. People can have all sorts of opinions, but why should anyone think that all his opinions count for anything? Evensteven (talk) 02:23, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Re point 3, "authoritative general interpretations": I suppose I'm mincing words a bit wrt "authoritative". Yes, there is general material on canon law, and one can call some of it "reliable" in the WP sense, but I would not call it "authoritative" unless it came from bishops, since they are the actual authority that applies the canons. I think this word "authoritative" is often misused in English when the intended meaning really is "reliable or "authentic" or "scholarly", or giving some such sense of solidity, confirmation, and dependability. Authoritative really means that the information or view comes directly from the point of origin, the one place that generates it.
Evensteven 17:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC) — continues after insertion below
Writing about 1000–1600 year span of history will naturally show development of doctrines. Now will be different than the past in some ways. You mean authoritative as WP:PRIMARY sources? I mean that The Rudder is authoritative and reliable – I think the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate authorized it and Nicodemus the Hagiorite was one of the authors. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:50, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, some kinds of primary sources, or something like the Rudder; it needs to be generative. But a scholarly opinion is not really "authoritative" even when it's reliable, scrupulously researched, and solidly drawn; that's a derivative activity. But please don't think that I intend to diminish scholarship for that reason - it's just in a different category. Evensteven (talk) 02:23, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Re points 4 and 5, "current formulations": Indeed there are some. If Ware's opinion has any place in the article at all, it is to say precisely that "there they are" and "they could be better". Ware, however, is not capable all of himself to provide a better "Orthodox" formulation. At best, he could only formulate one from within Orthodoxy. The difference lies in how deep acceptance is within the Church as a whole, something we could not ascertain simply from his statement. But, at least in that source, I don't think he makes any such statement anyway. The observation that there could be better is all we seem to have here, and I regard that as fairly weak material for the article. Mostly, we'd do much better to stick with something official or based on a synod or a high-level meeting with the RC church. That would give much more weight as to Orthodoxy in full. Nevertheless, we use reliable "formulations from within Orthodoxy" all the time, and there is no rejecting them solely on that basis. Evensteven (talk) 17:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Ware's book is a standard introduction about Orthodoxy, from what I skimmed he is nor reformulating anything. I disagree that his book is weak, it is cited in Google Scholar 731 times. I think that content from the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church should be a good start. I don't see anything wrong with Orthodox sources. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:50, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Goodness! I don't understand how it is that we are misconnecting! I never intended to imply his book is weak! Fundamentally, it's straight-out Orthodox teaching designed as introduction. The one opinion we've been talking about is an exception to that rule, and it's weaker only because it's from one Orthodox teacher alone, rather than a synthesis of Orthodox teaching in general. Note: "weaker", not "weak". And I just don't see why you think I may see anything wrong about Orthodox sources, either. I've certainly made plenty of use of them (including Ware's book) in my own editing. I must not have been clear somehow, but I just don't see how to correct it. Evensteven (talk) 02:23, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Consensus to change from ref to sfn style citations[edit]


References will be changed from <ref> style to {{sfn}} templated style.
BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:44, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This article is complex, technical, but reads more like a debate than an encyclopedic article. I have been improving the references by combining in WP:NAMEDREFS and adding content. I think the article would benefit by changing from inline <ref> footnotes to the {{sfn}} style. According to WP:CITEVAR, this converting between systems should not be done without WP:Consensus.

Much of the available works about this subject contain references using standard abbreviations to standard reference works. I think this change will help the reader by:

  • providing the references in a familiar system with standard abbreviations in this field
  • bundling the citations for easier reading of the text
  • bundling the citations for easier understanding which sources are cross-cited in others, e.g. which primary sources are cited/quoted by which secondary sources. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:40, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support the current format is very unapproachable. Laurel Lodged (talk) 09:08, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Insofar as that change has been completed on Eastern Orthodox Church, the citations are in much better shape there because of he consistency of approach sfn applies. It also helps ensure the proper details are included in each citation, eliminating bare links. Evensteven (talk) 11:28, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
@Evensteven: I think Eastern Orthodox Church does read better. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:38, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

I created Talk:Primacy of the Bishop of Rome/10-June-2015-draft-ref-to-sfn for working out the change. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 20:57, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Judging by the response, I think this is not controversial. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:44, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Change in lead[edit]

@BoBoMisiu:, I am unable to check the Schmemann reference on primacy that you give for some of the new text you just entered, so I can't tell just what the source says. However, the edit appears to me to have troubles. First, it implies that there is a divergence of opinion about primacy among Orthodox theologians that I don't believe exists. As far as I know, "first among equals" is the most common phrase used to describe a universally-held position. If Schmemann actually holds an alternate view, it would be most surprising. Of course, I cannot tell the context in which he is speaking of primacy in the source, but "authoritative power" is a phrase I have never heard in Orthodoxy; rather the opposite, it is the type of language that would be used to describe an RC view of bishops and their office. And being a nebulous phrase, I feel sure that even if Schmemann employs it in some way, the context must make clear what its limitations are. The question always is: authority over what?, power to do what? Orthodox teaching on authority in the church is quite clear on the point that there is but one authority, Christ Himself. Bishops are never free to act under their own authority, not even the authority of their office, as though their power were absolute or vested in them without regard to the whole Church or its Savior. They do have responsibility and power to administer the Church (a type of authority), for which they are accountable, and upon occasion some bishops have been deposed for misuse of it. Their authority over administration of the Church does not reach into authority over doctrine, Holy Tradition, and other matters of the faith, and even synod or council decisions are not final unless the Church accepts them, even ecumenical council decisions. Schmemann knows all that well, and whatever he says in the book, I'm sure it doesn't contradict those fundamentals. But the article text does, so there are troubles. Would you take another look, and see what might be done to reflect the source better? Evensteven (talk) 07:13, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

@Evensteven: thank you for looking over the article. Here is the diff from before I contributed. I am guessing this sentence is your specific contention:

Other Orthodox Christian theologians, however, view primacy as authoritative power: the expression, manifestation and realization in one bishop of the power of all the bishops and of the unity of the Church.

The reference for that was John Meyendorff (editor), The Primacy of Peter (St Vladimir's Seminary Press 1995 ISBN 978-0-88141-125-6), p. 165" and is now improved to attribute the actual author instead of the editor of that work.
Here is what I think about the following:
  • Schmemann reference on primacy.
Schmemann was first cited in this article in 2011. It is not a new citation but is more specific by specifying the authors who were compiled to Meyendorff's book – which was repeatedly cited throughout the history of this article. There is a review of Meyendorff's book in Harvard Ukrainian Studies that can be read on JSTOR for free. It is a reliable source published by an Orthodox seminary.
  • "However, the edit appears to me to have troubles".
What about the edit seems troubling?
  • "implies that there is a divergence of opinion about primacy among Orthodox theologians"
Yes, among Eastern Orthodox theologians, reading through the linked sources does show that divergence and a development of understanding.
  • " 'first among equals' is the most common phrase used to describe a universally-held position.
Yes, but that does not change the development of understanding during the last half century.
  • "If Schmemann actually holds an alternate view, it would be most surprising."
So, both "the type of language" is problematic and the opinions "have troubles"?
For background about Schmemann, here is a Russian bootleg transcription of Afanassieff who Schmemann quoted in the mid 20th century. It shows a development of understanding.
  • "if Schmemann employs it in some way, the context must make clear what its limitations are
You assume that Schmemann is taken out of context.
  • "The question always is: authority over what?, power to do what?"
Yes, that is what cited sources show.
  • "Orthodox teaching on authority in the church is quite clear on the point"
I only changed the citation style to make it readable and added little new content.
  • "Bishops are never free to act under their own authority, not even the authority of their office, as though their power were absolute or vested in them without regard to the whole Church or its Savior.
I am Catholic, but I believe that a bishop was "at least" until the 9th century, as the Ravenna Document (which is a "basis for future discussion of the question of primacy at the universal level in the Church") describes, the protos of presbyters and people within a diocese. I believe they still are considered that in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Only some details developed divergently over the last millenium. There are ample written sources that show a development.
I will not chastise Schmemann, who was a respected Eastern Orthodox theologian, for his understanding – anyone can add content that rebutts of Schmemann work (especially his wikipedia article). The Eastern Orthodox opposition to the doctrine of Papal Primacy article may be a better place to describe these theological differences that some Orthodox hold.
  • "Would you take another look, and see what might be done to reflect the source better"
Yes, but the references that I added links to allow anyone to verify the sources. Unfortunately Meyendorff's book does not provide a Google preview.
I think the article could be improved by harmonizing with several related articles by writing better summaries of those articles in this article. I see ample historical content that duplicates [Historical development of the doctrine of papal primacy]] but very little about the actual contemporary Orthodox doctrinal understanding. I would like to see both the authoritative Orthodox canons and the Church documents that state the Orthodox doctrine in either a "Further reading" section or integrated into a more encyclopedic "Doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Churches" section. Harmonizing the various articles is the real problem.
I created Talk:Primacy of the Bishop of Rome/dumping-ground for some content I collected. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:01, 16 June 2015 (UTC) modified 17:04, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response, and the leads. I hope my ramble didn't produce misunderstandings: I've certainly not tried to criticize Schmemann, whom I respect highly. And yes, I agree that many of his views on other topics developed over time, so why not on this topic also? You seem to have touched on one touchy point that I must have had there subconsciously but didn't articulate, at least not recognizably. And that is that the bishop's relation to the clergy and people of his diocese might indeed be described in terms of primacy. I think the essential Orthodox / Catholic mismatch of views comes into play when we're speaking of the relations among bishops, something the article could do better to make clear. It'll take me a little time to pursue some of this, as I have hands full with other things also right now. Also trying to do some harmonizing in another set of articles. Thanks again. Evensteven (talk) 02:12, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Unreferenced content[edit]

Nuvola apps edu languages.png Relevant discussion at Talk:Eastern Orthodox opposition to papal supremacy#Unreferenced content

There is a lot of it in the article (this version), in my opinion.

Primacy of the Bishop of Rome § Opposition arguments from early church history was tagged in August 2013 as an {{Unreferenced}} section. Most of the section was added in 2011. It contains lots of speculation. I removed the unreferenced content. If anyone wants to argue about any of those unreferenced line item, please post here. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 03:49, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

In my opinion, there was nothing that stood out to me as Orthodox teaching, at least not as stated. I think some of it may have been editorially trimmed or shortened as one might do for an encyclopedia article, but without sources there is no telling how accurately phrased any of it was. This issue is notoriously technical, and simply must have authentic backing by reliable sources. I agree with the removals. Evensteven (talk) 06:02, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 30 May 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move per unanimous consensus. Jujutsuan (talk | contribs) 19:23, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

(non-admin closure)

Primacy of the Bishop of RomePapal primacy – Per WP:COMMONNAME (see this Google NGram; full current title is too long to search, but first 5 words barely show up together), WP:RECOGNIZABILITY, and WP:CONCISE. Current title is unnecessarily long, not as common, and not as concise as possible within guidelines. Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 03:29, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

@Chicbyaccident: Five arguments listed so far, by myself and the other commenters, isn't enough? WP:COMMONNAME (per the ridiculous disparity in the NGram) and WP:CONCISE (2 words vs. 6 words) should be more than enough on their own in this case. Not to mention that most people have heard of "papal primacy", but will probably scratch their heads in confusion at "primacy of the Bishop of Rome" (so WP:RECOGNIZABILITY applies). And now per @Gulangyu:'s vote, we know that WP:CONSISTENCY applies as well. (Sorry if I'm rehashing, but I think this is a worthwhile elaboration of what I meant when I listed these policies originally.) Jujutsuan (formerly Crusadestudent) (talk | contribs) 21:41, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support, as per above. Thanks for the elaboration. Chicbyaccident (talk) 22:02, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
@Chicbyaccident: Thank you. I'm rereading my comment above, and I'm realizing it might have come across as rude. That was not my intent. I was surprised, though, that you were asking for more arguments. No hard feelings? Jujutsuan (talk | contribs) 22:17, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Not at all. Chicbyaccident (talk) 22:20, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support, as per above. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:06, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.